The A.V. Club's Scores

For 5,405 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (re-release)
Lowest review score: 0 Mansome
Score distribution:
5,405 movie reviews
  1. It’s a credit to both Mackenzie’s talent as a director of actors and to the underlying humaneness of his vision that he argues that the right option is the more difficult and less predictable one — and that he does so without relying on sentimentality, unearned sympathy, or a happy ending.
  2. Beyond giving a human face to Uganda's crises, Kiarostami attempts to capture the actual place, a swirl of contradictions as vibrant and beautiful as it is troubled.
  3. Far from the solemn earnestness of most Holocaust documentaries, Fighter addresses the war and its oft-toxic reverberations with refreshing impudence and candor.
  4. As the film takes shape, the form and the subject develop a fascinating symbiosis, with Derrida cast as an active participant in the deconstruction of his own documentary.
  5. Stillman's arch, clever dialogue is as strong as ever, and he conveys in every frame a genuine affection for his characters, however insipid their actions may be at times. These gifts make it easy to forgive Stillman's tendency to let his story meander, especially in Disco's second half.
  6. Summer Phoenix has a screen presence that's simultaneously distancing and transfixing, an inscrutability that makes her seem either mysterious or a complete blank.
  7. Emerges as something rare, an issue movie that's so honest and keenly observed that it doesn't feel like one. It earns its thesis statement through minute details and a unique grasp of a commonplace problem.
  8. Uncompromising in her art, her teaching, and her professional relations, Boyd makes for a classic tough old bird of a character.
  9. In the end, it's that reserve that makes it work. Keeping his distance, the director lets viewers see in full the moments in which grief turns the world into a narrow, never-ending tunnel.
  10. Though shorn of 20 minutes for its U.S. debut, the film's wry comic portrait of the Japanese Occupation during WWII hasn't lost any of its incendiary brilliance, both as a political provocation and as a brusquely humane take on the horrors and absurdity of war.
  11. Though it occasionally wears its metaphors on its sleeve, Ulee's Gold should, if there's any justice, find the same thoughtful-drama-hungry audience that made "Sling Blade" a hit.
  12. Smart in a rare way that matters greatly to good contemporary comedy: Like last year's "Flirting With Disaster," its script and direction underplay absurd situations, letting its characters amuse without showing the strains of forced wackiness.
  13. What Von Trier arrives at is a complex, contemporary, and deeply moving exploration of faith.
  14. Mann takes all the instincts he learned as a Miami Vice producer and trims them of their excesses, and the result is an unsettling thriller whose detached style perfectly complements its psychological intensity.
  15. Seasoned with amusing bits of fantasy, like a pizza topping that briefly curls into a smile, Friday Night captures the city at its most inviting, alive with the feeling that wonderful things can happen to ordinary people.
  16. An inspired, original, and gracefully integrated collaboration of theater and cinema that complements not only both forms, but also the seductive, dreamlike qualities of the source material.
  17. The superbly edited original version of Amadeus used overlapping sound cues for a lively flow between scenes, and the new version breaks up some of that flow with lengthy, talky interludes. Still, Ondrícek's breathtaking images and Forman's essential craft are best appreciated on the big screen, and another theatrical run for Amadeus is a welcome gift, no matter how much this edition unnecessarily gilds what's already a near-perfect lily
  18. Neither condemning nor forgiving, the film is a model of documentary evenhandedness, even though James makes no claims of objectivity.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One of the funniest movies of the year, but you may need to shower afterwards.
  19. A viscerally punishing study of repression and masochism, carried out with the utmost discretion and chilling reserve.
  20. So much fun that its considerable worth as history and sociology seems almost incidental.
  21. There's not a weak performance in Secrets And Lies, a fact made more notable by the seeming ease with which the cast performs as an ensemble.
  22. A Trojan horse of a teen comedy that balanced lowbrow gags with subtle humor, genuine insight—Crowe spent a year undercover as a high-school student—and pathos.
  23. Malick's powerful intermingling of brutality and beauty, his signature cutaways to indigenous flora and fauna, and the gentle lyricism of his disjunctive narration and painterly images are too rich to fully register in a single viewing.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An astoundingly moving and elegiac meditation on life, love, music, and the bonds of blood.
  24. A superb portrait of a band and an industry in flux.
  25. By turns playful, harrowing, intensely moving, and uproariously funny, Chain Camera cuts away all documentary artifice and goes straight to the source, allowing these kids to reveal themselves with the utmost directness and candor.
  26. With startling clarity and dreadful logic, Loach and Laverty make sense of every bad choice Compston makes until he runs out of options, locked into a destiny that he can't escape, mainly because his good intentions are clouded by tragic naivete.
  27. Payne, the great satirist behind "Citizen Ruth" and "Election," loves to populate his films with throwaway details, which in About Schmidt accumulate into a portrait of Midwestern life that's almost chilling in its exactitude.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    That the familiar story of the Titanic disaster is told with suspense is not as surprising as Cameron's clear-headed balance of truth and fiction, spectacle and tragedy.

Top Trailers